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Trump Budget Plan Is Bad News for Eastern Europe

Proposed aid cuts cast doubt on pledges to protect the region
Souvenir matryoshka dolls depicting Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, left, and Donald Trump, US president, sit on display at a tourist stall in the city center ahead of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. The event program is based around the theme 'Achieving a New Balance in the Global Economic Arena' and runs from June 1 - 3.
Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

On edge as President Donald Trump cozied up to Vladimir Putin, eastern Europe breathed a sigh of relief when U.S. officials swung by to reassure them of unwavering support. But Washington’s spending proposals tell a different story.

Despite Vice President Mike Pence touring the ex-communist region to affirm backing against the “specter” of Russian aggression, the White House is seeking sweeping funding cuts for its allies. Reductions in the State Department budget would lower funding for Europe and Eurasia by $336 million, as well as other programs covering support for democracy and development assistance.